Michael has worked tirelessly for over 12 years as a dog handler for the charity Dogs Against Drugs in Shetland. He has provided free drugs education to hundreds of schoolchildren during this time as well as assisting the police in seizing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal narcotics. He has never given up. He has worked long hours in dangerous conditions to secure convictions against drug dealers who would poison and kill our young people.
On the first day of July the baton relay arrived in the Shetland Islands, an island chain 160km north of the Scottish mainland and the most northerly point of the British Isles. Renowned for its historic Viking links this stunning archipelago has some of Britain’s most diverse birdlife.
The Queen’s Baton began its journey through the Shetlands via Sumburgh, and visiting Sandwick, Scalloway, Aith, Brae and Lerwick. The baton travelled by boat for much to visit the many remote island communities of Shetland.
In Lerwick, crowds flocked to the Clickimin athletics track in glorious sunshine to welcome the baton to a school and community event. Youngsters from all the Lerwick schools, as well as Fair Isle and Foula, had assembled and watched, whistled and jostled as the baton made its way round the track carried by local swimming coach Petur Petursson.
A festive atmosphere prevailed throughout the day with Commonwealth flags adorning parts of the relay.
The batonbearers across Shetland each had stories of resilience and resourcefulness, traits that are synonymous with the remoteness of island life. Matthew Cox is one such individual. Matthew is the manager of the most northerly leisure centre in the UK. Alongside his role within the leisure centre, Matthew is also a retained firefighter and with his colleagues keeps the island a safer place. Every day he strives to inspire members of the community to take up sport and enjoy it as much as he does.
Also carrying the baton was Kenny Groat, who established Bressay Sports Club and spent a decade working to secure a full-sized sport pitch for the island.
Joining Kenny was Erraid Davies, who at four years old became wheelchair-bound until she was eight years old. Erraid has trained vigorously as team member of the Delting Dolphins ASC, and has since gone on to become number one in Scotland across various swimming categories.
Athletes carrying the baton through the Shetland Islands include hockey enthusiast and Team Scotland swimmer Fiona Dally who ran in Scalloway. Experienced shooting athlete Kevin Gray, who has represented Shetland in countless competitions was the final baton carrier of the day.